Amounts really don't matter—all the seasonings should be subtle as it's really about the beans.
Cook the soaked beans with any or all of the following: bay leaves, thyme sprig, rosemary sprig, and parsley stems. Reserve the cooking liquid.
Once fully cooked, puree with either a food mill or food processor—adding a small amount of garlic while pureeing. The garlic can be raw or roasted, depending on what suits you. Mix in extra virgin olive oil, not much, just enough to get a hint. Season with lemon juice, salt, black pepper and minced herbs—thyme, rosemary and parsley are my usual suspects.
If necessary, use the reserved cooking liquid to thin the beans.
At the table, drizzle some of the olive oil on the top.
My favorite pairing with this is a quick pickled shallot:
Slice 5-6 shallots into 1/8" rings (they were a bit too thick in Big Sky) and add to a small sauce pan. To this add a few peppercorns (black, red, green, doesn't matter), a pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons sugar (brown or white) and 1 tablespoon honey. Add vinegar (I use mostly cider with a splash of balsamic) and water, in equal amounts, to just barely cover the shallots. Bring this to a boil, stirring often to dissolve the honey—it doesn't take long. Once at a boil, remove from heat and pour into a container to cool in the fridge.
Before serving, remove the peppercorns, check the seasoning (I tend to add salt and honey at this point) and add some fresh herbs—mint is my favorite.
FYI—extra pickled shallots make a cool compound butter for steaks—process a stick of butter with a few tablespoons of these shallots, black pepper, salt and parsley. Roll into a log in plastic wrap and freeze. When you make a steak, slice a medallion off the end of this and add to the top of the steak when it's done cooking.
What's better than a steak with some butter on it?
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